LANCASHIRE captain Glen Chapple was pleased with the way his team fought back during day two of their LV= County Championship game against Somerset.
Lancs are 22-2 in reply to Somerset’s 420 after a fantastic morning session before rain brought an end to play in the afternoon.
The response, taking the last seven wickets from 107 runs, came after the South West outfit dominated day one with Alviro Petersen making an unbeaten 109 and sharing an effective third-wicket partnership of 193 with Nick Compton.
Assessing the game so far, Chapple said: “I thought Somerset played well yesterday especially Petersen – that was a good knock. It was always going to be a decent pitch.
“I think we would have liked to have taken more wickets with a new ball, it did a little bit with a new ball but they managed to see it off pretty well.
“But, you know, a good batting side on a pitch like that, they are entitled to make a good score now and again and that’s what they did.
“So, overnight, obviously they were in a strong position. I think this morning was a fantastic session for us to take seven wickets and that’s what we targeted to be honest to keep a chance of being in the game, to keep all three results on the cards really.
“It just shows how things can change really. They had a very big partnership yesterday afternoon and we thought with the new ball we could have taken three or four wickets and that would have changed the nature of the game. As it turned out, this morning did that.”
Day one’s play saw just three wickets taken compared to nine on day two but Lancs coach Chapple felt the conditions did not play a part.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say [the conditions] were massively different. I think every time you take a new ball on the pitch it changes things and the pitch is so firm out there that the ball becomes soft,” the 40-year-old said.
“So I think it’s very likely that it will remain similar. You’ve just got to get past the new ball. There’s a few cracks out there and obviously they can come into play with a hard ball.”
Chapple made one change from their draw against Yorkshire at Headingley last week as open batsman Luis Reece was replaced by Andrea Agathangelou.
“We left Luis Reece out. He’s been challenged for runs at the moment, he’s obviously a very talented player with a good record so it’s just a chance for him to go and do a bit of work and hopefully play a game with the second team with a bit less pressure,” he explained.
“People deserve a chance and I thought Alex Davies would freshen up our team at the top of the order.
“Alex is a very talented player and obviously he’s our second keeper at the moment with Jos [Buttler] being our first keeper. He’s got another possible route into the team as a very talented batsman.”
Since the match with Yorkshire, Lancs have announced the much anticipated return of Andrew Flintoff with the former England all-rounder coming out of retirement to play in the T20 blast.
And Chapple was delighted to welcome the 36-year-old, who has been training with the county for several weeks, back into the fold.
“It’s brilliant to have Fred back,” he said. “He’s been around the dressing room for a fair period of time now which is great.
“He’s offered a lot of advice to the lads and the lads are keen to pick his brains – some good stories, some fun stories and some good advice at the sharp end.
“In terms of him playing, we’ll just have to see how things go.”
Flintoff is expected to make his return against Yorkshire on 6 June in front of a near-16,000 sell-out crowd at Emirates Old Trafford.
But Chapple was keen to stress that nothing has been confirmed and players must earn their place in the selection.
“The lads all know the team will be picked on merit and, when and if, Fred makes his way into the team, I’m sure it will be very exciting for everybody that comes to watch,” the frontline bowler added.
“They’ve all been tough teams to pick, we’re leaving out good players all the time which is difficult to do but at the end of the day, we’ve won the last four games and the squad will understand that.
“All we can do is pick the team that we feel is the right one.”